While many boat owners are quite content on inland waterways and enjoying relaxing times in calm bays and harbours and only venturing offshore when the conditions are ideal, there are many others that are drawn to offshore boating. Great fishing can often be found quite a distance from shore, great sea journeys do require venturing beyond safe harbours and for yachties - it's where the best breeze is blowing. So if you're interested in boating offshore or even in rough waters, we've compiled a few considerations for you to keep in mind to keep safe.
Select the Right Boat
It all starts with the boat. If you do intend to do your boating in rougher waters, then buy a boat that is suited to those conditions. Many boats are better suited to rivers and calmer waters and you can be risking yourself, your companions and your boat by venturing into conditions that your boat is not built to handle. Australia has many great boat manufacturers including those that specialise in the tough aluminium hulls required. Hull construction and boat design is highly technical and designers go to great lengths to build boats that withstand certain conditions.
So do your homework around which boat you should purchase. There are plenty of advice columns and articles to source online, in fact we have showcased many boats in our own articles. If you feel you’re not getting the right answers from a boat seller or dealer, consider engaging a boat broker to source you the right boat.
When it comes to your boat finance, no problems. Jade provides boat loans for all types of boats of all sizes and for boating in many different conditions.
Upskill and Up-learn
If you’ve never operated a boat in rough conditions – learn. This is no time to be a hero. There are boating skills courses available and plenty of tips to be picked up at your yacht club or marina.
Here’s a few tips from an expert source on driving a boat in choppy waters:-
- Reduce boat speed in choppy and rough water. This allows yourself more time to react and position the boat to address oncoming waves and minimises the risk of the engine being out of the water or the boat becoming airborne off a wave.
- You don’t take on a wave head-on so upskill on your school geometry to know how angles work. The widely used technique is to take a wave at a 45 degree angle and adjust the throttle accordingly.
- Know your boat and how to handle it. Don’t just head offshore on your first outing on a new boat. Be patient and learn all the ropes of your new toy in calmer waters first. Ensure you know how she reacts and know how to fix as many components as possible in case of failure.
- Do all your checks before heading off. Check battery, fuel levels, fuel lines, water, electronics and the safety gear.
- Especially ensure your GPS is working.
- Check the VHF radio and know the correct channel for that area.
- Weather is more critical when heading offshore so stay across forecasts and ensure you tune in for regular updates if a bad weather system is forecast.
- Ensure your safety equipment is in good working order – EPIRB, life jackets, flares and other gear. Make sure it is easy and quick to access.
- Have a rope aboard that is suitable for towing should you get into trouble or you come to the assistance of someone else.
- Take plenty of food and water.
- Preferably take a companion for safety and always advise someone of your plans and your expected ETA. As an added precaution the coast guard operate a sign in service which is accessible by an app.
- If you do have a boating buddy, make sure they also know how to operate the boat, the radio and the safety equipment in case you are incapacitated.
- Secure all loose items both on deck and below deck to avoid damage and to avoid weight balance changes especially on smaller boats which can affect the boat’s handling.
Owning a boat is a very exciting experience but if you don’t take it very seriously it can quickly turn into something you would much rather forget.
Securing a Boat Loan for All Boating Conditions
Some of the key deciding factors when buying a boat is how you intend to use the boat and on what waters. We cover these issues in many of our articles. So selecting a boat that is designed for offshore performance and/or to handle rough and choppy conditions is essential if that is where you intend to spend your time.
Most large cruisers are designed to handle those conditions as are most yachts. But when you start looking at the smaller cabin cruisers, fishing boats, cuddy cabins and other trailer boats, is where you’ll have to look more closely at the capabilities for different water and weather conditions.
Selecting a boat loan doesn’t require that level of consideration as Jade provides our Secured Boat Financing for the purchase of all types of boats and regardless of where you will be boating.
To discuss how we can source you a cheap loan for an offshore boat, contact Jade Boat Loans 1300 000 003
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